What Is the Public Health Infrastructure in Connecticut?
The Department of Public Health (DPH) is designated by Connecticut law as the lead agency for statewide health planning activities. Responsibility for overall protection of the public’s health rests with the Commissioner of Public Health. Directors of Local Health are assigned agents of the Commissioner, who engage in public health activities at the local level and receive training, certification, technical assistance, and speciality services from DPH. Every Connecticut resident is served by one of the 73 local health departments, of which 51 are full-time and 22 are part-time. The full-time health departments, which serve approximately 95% of Connecticut’s population, include 30 municipal health departments and 21 health districts (serving 2 to 18 towns). There are also 2 tribal health departments within the state.
How Can I Find My Local Health Department?
To find your local health department, click here.
What Services Do Local Health Departments Provide?
Examples of services provided by local health directors and their staffs in Connecticut include:
- Inspecting food service establishments, salons, lodging establishments, public pools, groups homes, and day care centers;
- Reviewing and approving plans for septic systems and wells;
- Conducting lead investigations, mold and indoor air quality investigations, beach water and shellfish sampling, and rabies investigations;
- Providing health education and community outreach on topics including maternal and child health, asthma, and sexually transmitted diseases;
- Monitoring for reportable diseases (e.g., tuberculosis) through surveillance, report analysis, case investigation and coordination in an effort to reduce disease transmission in local communities and throughout the state; and
- Conducting surveillance for potential bioterrorism agents, responding to a flu pandemic, and preparing responses to emergency situations.
How are Local Health Departments Funded?
Local health departments in Connecticut are funded by municipal contributions, state per capita funds, grant funds, federal funds, and department revenues. Connecticut is ranked 33rd in the nation for state funding of public health (Trust for America’s Health State Health Data, 2012), despite the critical need to invest in disease prevention and health promotion.